Fertigation is the process that verifies the application of fertilizers to crops by integrating with the drip system. The fertigation system is incorporated with the irrigation water so that it facilitates the supply of fertilizers evenly over the surface.
Fertigation is an advanced methodology of chemigation which means the process of injecting chemicals in the irrigation system. Fertigation cannot be applied at all places. It compromises of few features that will exactly set with particular types of crops and fields. It is most commonly used in commercial agriculture and horticulture.
It is otherwise utilized in landscaping because the dispenser units are easy and flexible to handle. Fertigation is carried out especially to inherit additional nutrients to the crops and plants. It is also carried out to treat defensive crops in the field. There are many options for the crops to cause deficiencies in tissue analysis. It is applied in all varieties of plants like fruits, vegetables, trees, and cultural crops.
What are the necessary nutrients for the crops to be healthy?
Plants and crops need sufficient nutrients and elements to stay healthy. Only crops without any deficiency can result in good production and high yielding. Maximum nutrients will be supplied through irrigation itself. The dispensers used during irrigation will give efficient nutrients to the plants.
The most needed nutrients for healthy crops and plants are Nitrogen. Nitrogen covers the highest space in the earth’s atmosphere. The chemical component making Nitrogen is a diatomic molecule. The naturally occurring nitrogen will not give complete potential to the plants and crops. They must be provided with sufficient nitrogen through such methodologies.
The other important nutrients that impact plants and crops are anhydrous ammonia, ammonium nitrate, urea, phosphate, phosphorus, monoammonium phosphate, potassium, diammonium phosphate, potash muriate, and potassium chloride. There are not supplied completely at high volumes. But there are proportions of volumes to be considered.
These chemical substances efficiently crop by treating the deficiencies and supplying necessary elements to the crops. But we must be very concerned about the number of chemical elements or fertigation that is provided to each crop. Giving them a large number of pesticides and fertigation can have high impacts that can even kill the crops or diffusing the complete production process.
Agriculturalists will know the proportions of substances that need to be provided to crops. And it varies to different kinds of plants and crops. Thre are mixed and alloys can also be supplied with complete recognition. Make sure you provide a sufficient volume of chemical substances. Some exceptional crops will need only specific substances. Few will not need anything at all. Know the variations and necessities.
What are the common fertilizers used in the Fertigation process?
- Fertigation can be more reliable if the fertilizers are highly water-soluble. As the process is incorporated with the drip irrigation process, the supply of water with fertilizers must be ensured. So fertilizers such as Urea, Potash are used at high rates.
- We should also be concerned about the fertilizers that we must avoid in the fertigation process. Fertilizers such as super phosphorous can make the soil week by stagnating the precipitation of the phosphorous salts. If you need to choose phosphorous nutrients for the soil and crops, phosphoric acid will be the best choice. It is available in liquid form so that adding water with another solution will not be risky.
- There are some specific super fertilizers such as mono ammonium phosphate which is the alloy of Nitrogen and Phosphorous, Poly feed which is the alloy of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous, Multi K- a mixture of Nitrogen and Potassium, Potassium sulphate- a mixture of potassium and sulphur. These are great fertigation agents as they are highly soluble in water.
- Micronutrients such as Iron, Manganese, Zinc, Copper, Boron, and Molybdenum are supplied along with the super fertilizers for stable nutrient content. They are higher components in drip irrigation.
Fertigation can be done along with a drip irrigation system. With enhanced technologies, irrigation and fertigation became the simplest of tasks. The techniques and processes are automated so that it consumes very little time and energy of yours.
The fertilizers used in the fertigation process can be briefly categorized into 4 types:
- N Fertigation
- P Fertigation
- K fertigation
P-type fertigation fertilizers are phosphorous contents. They are not highly suitable for the fertigation process as they settle the phosphate salts under the soil surface. This will be a good mixture when the phosphoric acid is mixed with mono ammonium phosphate. They appear to be a good solvent in irrigation water.
Potassium nitrate, Potassium chloride, Potassium sulphate, and monopotassium phosphate are called K-type fertigation fertilizers. They are good applications of fertilizers as they will not create any precipitates under the surface of the soil. They are considered good in nutrients.
N fertigation is a highly potential nutrient that is commonly used in fertilizers in the fertigation process. Urea is the best suit of fertilizers along with drip irrigation. It is easily soluble in the water solution. It will also dissolve well in non-ironic form So that it will not any cause damages due to sudden reactions with other substances. Urea will not cause any precipitation under or over the surface of the soil. The common N-type fertilizers are Urea, ammonium sulphate, ammonium nitrate, calcium ammonium sulphate, calcium ammonium nitrate. They are also called nitrogenous fertilizers that are used in drip irrigation.
Few Micronutrients are used along with the fertilizers for making the solid content constant. The major Micro Nutrients used in the fertigation process are Iron, Manganese, Zinc, Copper, Boron, and Molybdenum. They are good solvents in water.
All these fertilizers are added to the water during the drip irrigation process. Fertigation and drip irrigation are the best combinations in the agricultural process. The Fertigation process is not a separate methodology but unison to drip irrigation system.
What is Drip irrigation?
Drip irrigation is the process of allowing water to drip down slowly to direct the roots of the plants. The aim is to save water supplied to the fields either buried below the surface or above the surface. They provide nutrients and potentials to the soil completely by dripping water into the roots directly. When the water is supplied directly to the root, evaporation is prevented. So water will not be evolved as gas due to evaporation. Drip irrigation supplies water through valves, pipes, tubing, and emitters. The efficiency and quality will be based on the maintenance. The other coherent systems to drip irrigation are surface irrigators or sprinkler irrigators.
Nowadays, Drip irrigation is one of the most modern innovations. It is more valued in the agricultural sense. This is a great alternative for surface irrigation. It is an important and effective treatment in agricultural sites.
What are the devices that are used in Drip irrigation?
The devices used mainly in drip irrigation are micro-spray heads, pumps, backwash controllers, pressure control valves, distribution lines, hand-operated electronic or hydraulic control valves, poly fitting accessories, emitting devices, dripper, emitter, and inline dripper.
Many drip irrigation system uses filters to avoid clogging of water under and above the surface. It acts as damage control when a large volume of water is supplied. Though filters are not manually suggested, it will be beneficial. They are recommended by agriculturalists.
How drip irrigation is carried out with automation techniques?
The technology has left us with the most complex techniques incorporated with Automation. So it is simple to follow drip irrigation with Automation techniques and methodologies.
The automation technique of drip irrigation is a specialized process where the distribution is installed at a time, it is not necessary to be controlled by an operator permanently. It automatically supplies water directly to the root of the plants. It can be processed either small scale or large scale. The fields with an automatic drip irrigation process meet with several optimistic effects.
These irrigation controllers can be handled by both wired and wireless solenoid valves. Irrigation pump sets will process the control with fixed data. It is solely capable of new and existing drip irrigation systems.
Types of Automation in Drip irrigation:
There are many varied techniques of automation process in drip irrigation. Many new methods of automatic drip irrigation are innovated. Each type has its specification and controlling method.
- Volume-based automation
- Time-based automation
- Sensor-based automation
The automatic irrigation system that is volume-based will process according to the pre-set amount of water that is fixed in the machine. The automatic system will supply the volume of water set in the volume control meter.
Time-based systems work based on the timer that is set. A timer controls the amount of water supplied to the field during a particular time. Once the time coincides, the machine will stop the supply automatically.
This system is controlled based on a general control processor. The general controller takes control over the amount of water supplied to the field at the managed time. The system completes the process based on the general control processor. It is manually fixed. If changes are to be made, they can be changed accordingly. The control supply receives data from the sensor. It frequently receives feedback from the sensor.
What are the useful impacts of following Drip irrigation?
It is necessary to take possible benefits in agriculture. Drip irrigation is an effective way to supply water to small-scale areas and large-scale fields. There are many advantages of using drip irrigation automation.
- Manual force is not operated completely. But once the control is given, it will be processed automatically.
- It saves a lot of water as it drips water directly to the root avoiding water loss due to evaporation.
- No excess water waste is captured as water is supplied either to the surface above or below according to the requirements.
- Recycled waters can be used effectively from direct connections.
- The soil remains fertile due to the stable moisture content. The continuous dripping keeps the soil moisturized consistently.
- Water pressure and volume are controlled manually by an automated process.
- Valves and pipelines can be fixed according to the root system.
What are the impacts of Fertigation:
Fertigation has a higher influence on crop irrigation and the productivity of the plants. Other benefits are notable.
- Fertigation is incorporated with the drip irrigation system itself. Drip irrigation is carried out mainly to supply water directly to the root of the crops. Drip irrigation conserves the water wastage that is supplied to the inner and outer surface of the soil. It is designed in a way that the water is uprooted directly. As fertigation is connected with a drip system, fertilizers will also be supplied directly inside the crops. This makes the plant completely healthy with good nutrients.
- Fertigation ensures an even supply of fertilizers to all the crops across the field. So this even drip system helps the crops to give a high yield. It is an important factor in agriculture that even supply of water and fertilizer results in adequate yielding. If the distribution lacks somewhere then the eventual production will also get affected. So fertigation makes it work worth it. It is made sure that fertigation implemented 25-50% high yielding.
- The efficiency of fertilizer is made stable through fertigation. It is observed that the fertilizer efficiency uses a range of 80-90%. This helps in saving about 25 or more percent of nutrients. Fertigation gives an even nutrient supply that will prevent the crops from deficiencies caused due to high nutrients.
- Apart from the positive carry over on crops and the agricultural land, fertigation also has great benefits on farmers and workers. This process protects more times, energy, eater, fertilizers, and power consumption.
- There is no panic about the amount of fertilizer you supply to each crop. The process is partially manipulated by men. But this technique, you can provide the necessary supply of nutrients to crops. There is no oscillation in pouring with hands. The automation process is equipped with high experimentation.
What is the equipment used in the Fertigation process?
The Fertigation process includes three main groups of types of equipment.
- Fertilizer tank
- Fertilizer pump
A fertilizer tank is equipment that is connected to the irrigation pipe at the supply point. The fertilizer tank contains the fertilizer solution. A partial water supply is made through the fertilizer tank so that it dilutes the fertilizer. The diverted water is sufficient to act as a solute diluting the solvent. Then the fertilizer tank is redirected to the main supply. Now the irrigation and the fertigation process takes place subsequently with proper proportions. By supplying this, the concentration of fertilizer in the tank decreases at the same rate.
The Fertilizer pump is the major component of the entire controlling system. It is the control head of the processor. The diluted solution is stored in the fertilizer pump at the non-pressurized phase and injected at the required ratio. This helps in making the proper proportion of supply to each plant and crop. The supply covers both water and fertilizer. The even distribution makes the process consistent and stable.
This is a vacuum space created at the pipe. This construction helps to make a void space in the main water flow pipe that will cause pressure differences inside the tube. This is sufficient to suck the fertilizer solution inside the pipe and send it to the roots. It is handy and easy to maintain. A high space doesn’t need to place the equipment.
Financial requirements of a Fertigation system:
The fertigation system accumulates the financial investment of the drip irrigation system. The investment over the dripping system is based on the space between the crops. The initial cost for the main system will be almost from 20 to 25 thousand rupees per hectare. It will not be similar for all crops. It is different for the variety of crops based on the specification.
Water conservation and stable nutrients flexibility are the superiors results of drip irrigation. High productivity and less consumption of fertilizers come further.
The cost depends on a certain phenomenon like the type of irrigation, the plant variety, the quality of the soil, and the acres. But comparing to the manual wages, liters of water to the field, and fertilizer costs, it is highly cost-effective.
But, dripping water directly into the soil surface and root saves the remaining 40% of the water too. There are majorly two types of drip irrigation.
DRIP IRRIGATION IN COCONUT PALMS:
Coconut is a dry plant and irrigation happens in summer. So it requires a large amount of water supply. More drips are also recommended to be placed as that benefits high productivity. Maximum four drippers are allotted per palm. Each dripper is to be placed in a separate pit. Coconut palm requires surface drip irrigation. The minerals and the nutrients to the soil must be concerned as the yield is based on the soil’s health. And coconut palm requires from about 55 liters to 120 liters every day.
Drip irrigation is the best way to conserve water and also to be prominent with the nutritional contents. Drip irrigation results in 35%-40% high yield and productivity. Comparatively, high production can be achieved with good fertilizers at stable intervals.
DRIP IRRIGATION IN COTTON PLANTS:
Cotton plants are highly affected by diseases. So maintaining cotton farms is challenging and concerning. But if proper provinces are laid, high-quality irrigation can be the fruit. Root drip irrigation must be planned for cotton. Supplying water to the canopy is not highly recommended. Only roots need to be stable in moisture. The humidity level must be optimal and fertilizers must be moderate. It is necessary to drive the level of water content. A high water supply is to have proceeded only for the first bloom. When the first-floor bolls open, the humidity and moisture level should be decreased. So the time intervals and the plant growth deviates from the irrigation system.